Come To Jesus Moment

“You f…… B…..!” Is the epithet he hurled at me. Did I get your attention? As people who faithfully follow Jesus we are not excluded from our share of anger, vitriol and harassment; if not even more. Christ believers are supposed to share the gospel of Christ and fulfill the call of The Great Commission by telling others about our redeeming Savior. Preachers admonish parishioners at church services worldwide on Sunday mornings to “tell others about Jesus!” I often think: What about those who do not want to be told about God? In today’s climate, I cannot tell you how many times telling others about the goodness of God met me with indifference, hatred and disdain. People are either atheist, agnostic, apatheist or new agers. Hey, different people follow different religions — I get that — and are as passionate about their beliefs as I am about mine. In a few instances, some people I spoke to even tried to get me to convert to their religion. More, other people that I spoke to were deeply hurt by “religious” people and ran as fast as they could away from anyone who uttered the name God. Then there are those who like to challenge your beliefs, undermine your knowledge in God, and corner you into a debate about religion. I’ve learned long ago not to debate God’s word. And then there are those whom I believe are actually tired, miserable, broken and overtaken by their sins but refuse to submit to God out of distrust and/or rebellion. Thus, they attack the “God” in you!

The person who made the offensive comment to me was someone I loved dearly. He was like a brother to me. You know the type of person that is very judgmental, condescending, rude, aggressive and confrontational? This describes my dear friend. He had practically driven away every one in his family and our circle of friends because of his behavior, but I refused to give up on him. “I will love him like Christ loved, and continue telling him about God,” is what I told myself. Nonetheless, at every meeting, dinner, get together with him I left feeling drained, insulted, berated, picked apart and belittled.

But this last meeting was on a whole nother level. It’s as if he came with an agenda to provoke me to respond to his antics. The cheerful person that I am, he began to attack my happiness asking me “Why are you smiling so much? There’s nothing to smile about!” Can you believe it? Someone’s mad at you for smiling! I quickly told him what’s inside reflects on the outside and would he rather I be miserable like him? I know … I know I probably shouldn’t have said that but I just could not believe what I was hearing. He criticized everything from God, my natural hair and character, to my joyful personality. Then it dawned on me how far God had brought me from a few years ago; He took away all my pain and replaced it with His joy! I then began sharing with my friend details of my background and the things God had brought me through, and telling him that’s where my joy comes from. Telling him about the goodness of God in my life seemed to make him even more confrontational. He started badgering religion, religious people and Jesus. I told him that I’m sorry that he feels that way but God is a redeemer and if he would just open up and try to get to know God his life could change too. He said he doesn’t need God and his life is fine without him.

I had to go there! … Albeit nicely. I told him the truth. I told him that his communication with others comes off as negative, aggressive and rude. Sure, we all have our bad days, but to live in a place of perpetual rudeness is a reflective character trait. I reminded him of a couple of people we know that he personally hurt deeply. He took no responsibility and shifted blame on everyone else. He then said that he was a good person and “does good” for others. I told him good works does not make up for the hurt and pain he leaves in his aftermath. I invited him to invite God into his life. I was then met with anger, harsh words, and berating. So much so, I had to walk away from this person whom I considered a dear friend. What truly has the world come to? If you’re smiling it’s fake. If you’re nice you have an ulterior motive. If you’re a Christian you’re hateful because you believe what the Bible says. It’s hard out here in these streets! The Bible forewarned of times such as these.

In Isaiah 5:20, the Bible warns of calling good evil and evil good.

By the time I got home I was in tears and had a pow-wow with God. “God, how could he talk to me like that? Why would he curse me out like that?” It was then God began to pour into my spirit how His Son Jesus was cursed, beaten, and murdered because He shared the good news. It was as if He asked me “Was I more important than His son? Was I better than His son?” If Jesus had to suffer persecution so will you, my child! Wow! It was a wake up call! I had to apologize for my own entitlement and shortsightedness.

How many times have we asked God to “use us” for His kingdom and the assignment does not come as we expect? Truthfully, many do as the aforementioned: question God and walk away from the gospel completely when they are deeply hurt. And truthfully speaking, it is not the person attacking you but the spirit in them. It is often because many people do not want to turn away from their sins, they have been hurt and are afraid to trust God, or they need to test the “God in you” because they need to know He’s real. They are really looking for something to believe in and need to know that this God you speak so highly of is really a redeemer. If we, who proclaim this Christ, buckle at every insult then it gives opposers the finger to mock God and question His power in our lives. I have had it happen time and time again. But what I felt God was speaking to me in this situation is that he used me to plant a seed of salvation. Many hurting people put on a tough exterior but deep down they are yearning for help. God is so loving, he hears their inward cries. When someone touches God’s heart, He usually sends many people to speak into their life.

Life is hard. Sin has hardened people, but our hearts must not become hardened.

This situation with my friend is what I call a ‘Come to Jesus moment.’ We who serve Christ often too have to come to Him and lay at his feet and cry as a little baby. Life is hard. Sin has hardened people, but our hearts must not become hardened. We must do as Paul admonishes,”fight the good fight of faith” and finish our race — bruises, scars, wounds and all!

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LEAVE WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND LET US #PRAY!!! (only 2 minutes).

Almighty Father, creator of Heaven and earth and everything in between, we humbly come before you. God, we ask you today for divine intervention in our lives, we ask for your touch in all areas of our lives; be it a new job, promotion, freedom from debt, rebuilding of our relationships with our spouses and friends, wayward children, or sickness and depression. Father any situation you touch, we believe it can never remain the same.

Father in heaven, let your will be done in our lives, as your decision in our lives is the best and will always be the best. Please send double portions, anointings and blessings as your name is being worshiped and glorified by multitudes in the name of your only son, our personal Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN!!!

God is going to shift things around for you this week, and things will work out in your favor. If only you would believe. God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can shut! If you need God to open doors for you … take Him at His word!

As your enemies gather to plan your downfall and set backs, God shall confuse and dismiss them in SEVEN directions. You shall be blessed SEVEN times more until the blessed call you blessed! Amen!

Start a prayer chain … send this prayer to those who need a breakthrough! Let’s penetrate heaven!

Rooted in God

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7,8

You may be reading this right now and and are going through your own personal storm. We go through different seasons in our lives and perhaps at this current moment your season is sickness, joblessness, loneliness, an impending bill that you don’t know how it’s going to get paid, or where the money is going to come from. Perhaps your season is hopelessness, depression and despair; no matter how much you pray or read the Bible, sadness glooms over you. Perhaps your season is a wayward loved one; a rebellious child, a cheating spouse, a backslidden relative, or a cantankerous boss. 

Beloved, the verse in Jeremiah admonishes us to be like a tree planted by the water. Water represents peace, stillness and calm. Water is soothing and relaxing. It says it “sends out its roots by the stream.” The steam is Jesus! The verse is saying to grab a hold of God. He is the peace that will still the storm. More so, not only cling to Him, but be rooted and grounded in Him! That no matter what way the wind blows, your faith, trust, and livelihood will be in Jesus Christ! Beloved, even though torrential rain may pour down, your leaves will remain green and intact. If we define green it is stated as: 

The color of life, renewal, nature, and energy. It is associated with growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. 

It means that whatever season you go through, God is right there with you! You may face horrendous trials, but God will give you the strength, courage, and boldness to go through it! And the best part, the verse says you won’t cease to bear fruit. While you are going through these trials, God is producing sweet fruit in you: patience, long suffering, forgiveness. Joy! Joy in the midst of your trials! Amen! 

James 1:2-4 says, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.


@healingbalmcafe

A Friend who sticks closer than a brother

An acquaintance had been asking me to hang out recently. With my full schedule, and the holidays fast approaching, I was searching deep within myself to find a reason not to go. I’m just not going! I said to myself. I just don’t have time, besides this isn’t one of my close friends, I retorted. Right then, I felt a tugging in my spirit to go. Geeze…ok I’ll go!

So I let my friend know I’d take her up on her offer. The day of, we greeted one another and immediately I felt a sadness in her spirit. She hugged me as if she had won the lottery and I had showed up to give her a million dollar check! Ok…I thought, this is odd. On we went about our day, my friend garrulously chatting the whole way. Maybe I was wrong, I surmised, she sure has a lot to talk about! Throughout the day I would continue to take on the role as the attentive listening friend. As we finally ended the evening with a late night dinner, it was there that I saw it! The look in her eyes, it was confirmation! I know that look all too well! I have been to that place before! A place of lonliness, sadness, and despair!

I listened intently, albeit curiously as her face lit up brightly like ornaments on a Christmas tree as she reminisced about her childhood; how excited she would get toward the approaching of the holiday season: The house lit aglow with holiday decorations, the aroma of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven, and the enjoyment and fulfillment she would have sharing stories with her family around the dinner table!

That excitement soon turned to doom as the expression on her face began to parallel the emptiness in her heart. She began to say how times have changed. How as adults we are consumed with work, bills, worry, and problems. She also shared how the emotional turmoil of a bad marriage left her hopeless, angry, and depressed. By evening’s end, she thanked me profusely for taking the time out of my “busy schedule” to hangout with her.

Wow! That was a wake up call for me! Here I am concerned about my day-to-day activities, and here is a life that, quite simply, needed a friend. At the least someone to just listen! How often do we miss the opportunity to share the love of Christ because we are too busy, have our own agenda, or are simply not compassionate. I admit this was a time of repentance and humbling for me. How glad I was that I heeded that voice in my spirit! Oh how we as Christians tarnish the Gospel because we are busy doing and not being. Being transparent. Being Light.

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:15, 16

Beloved, we as humans can only appease a person’s pain but for a moment. But, Matthew 5:15 says your light will give light to all in the house! We need to let our light shine before others in patience, giving of time, in longsuffering, so they are to know WHO it is that illuminates our spirit! Who’s the candle that lights our fire! Who guides us through the perils and pitfalls of darkness! Jesus Christ! Amen!

Point being that they may give glory to “your” Father in Heaven! That they may in turn seek His face, as to know who is the One who is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! Hebrews 11:6. That they can therefore experience the fruits of His merciful spirit for themselves!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness Galatians 5:22

Beloved, we often forget that the holiday season is a time of darkness, depression, and oppression for many. Whether it’s grief over a lost loved one, a divorce, kids having left the nest, singleness, etc. Perhaps you are a person that has found yourself in the grips of hell this holiday season. There is a way out: Jesus Christ! Many who have come to God are experiencing a life of freedom from torment and despair! Personally speaking, I am one of them! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, get down on your knees and ask God to come into your life today! (Romans 10:9). If you do have a relationship with Christ, seek God diligently and expect your deliverance! Or perhaps God has laid a person on your heart whom you simply can’t get out of your mind? It’s a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Reach out to someone today, be the light in their dark place; introduce them to a person who sticketh closer than a brother!

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24